Visiting other Libraries

Access schemes for University libraries

Many universities will allow reference access at some times during the year. Check the relevant library website for details and always contact the library before you visit to ensure that you have access.

In addition to this there is a scheme in place which give University of Essex students greater access to some institutions.


The University of Essex is a member of SCONUL Access, a scheme which allows many university library users to borrow or use books and journals at other libraries which belong to the scheme. The scheme covers most of the university libraries in the UK and Ireland.

If you are:

  • an academic on an open or fixed term contract
  • a postgraduate research student registered for a PhD, MPhil or similar qualification
  • a part-time, distance learning and placement student
  • or a full-time postgraduate

you may be able to borrow from other college or university libraries.

If you are:

  • a full-time undergraduate student
  • staff of a small number of higher education libraries not participating in the scheme

you may be able to use the resources of other college and university libraries for reference.

If you would like to avail of the services available under this scheme, please go to the SCONUL Access website and apply online. Please be aware that some member libraries may not offer access to all categories of user.

N.B. SCONUL Access visitors applying for use of the University of Essex library should note that applications can only be processed Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm


The University of Essex participates in eduroam, a service which allows users from participating institutions to access a wireless network at another participating institution. It should be noted that access under the terms of eduroam does not entitle members of one institution to access the licensed resources of another institution. More information about eduroam at Essex is available from the Computing Service website.

Walk-in access

Some university libraries may provide access to a limited selection of online resources to "walk-in" users. See individual library websites for details.

Essex County Council Libraries

Essex Online Reference Library

Anyone who lives, works or studies in Essex can join Colchester Public Library. They have a number of useful electronic resources that you can consult from wherever you connect to the internet. All you will need is your Essex Libraries membership (ELAN) ticket. Useful resources include:

  • Encyclopaedia Britannica
  • Oxford Language Dictionaries | Oxford English Dictionary
  • Oxford Art Online | Oxford Music Online | Oxford Reference Collection
  • Very Short Introuductions
  •  COBRA
  • Keynote online

The above service is provided by Essex County Council not The University of Essex, we are including this resource on this page to draw attention to other services in the area which may be useful to you for your study and research.

Links to other libraries and their catalogues

Other library catalogues are extremely useful when undertaking research especially when looking for books or periodical titles that are not available in the Albert Sloman Library.

National libraries are responsible for collecting all publications issued in their respective countries. For this reason, the catalogue of a national library is the best guide to publications issued in the country in question, and anyone wanting information on the publications of that country should make the catalogue of the national library the starting point of their search.


Search for items located in a library near you. lets you search the collections of libraries in your community and thousands more around the world.

University libraries


A union catalogue. It provides free access to the merged online catalogues of 24 major university research libraries in the UK and Ireland PLUS the British Library, the National Library of Scotland, and the National Library of Wales/Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru.


Serials catalogue for Scottish academic and research libraries


Formed in 1993 (as InforM25) with the aim of fostering co-operation amongst its London-based, higher education member libraries in order to improve services to users. The consortium now has 52 member institutions. Includes access to its union catalogue and to the University of London union list of serials


Serials UNion CATalogue for the UK, it is currently still a pilot project which commenced in February 2003. It is a key tool for locating serials held in UK Libraries.

National libraries

British Library

Registering for a Reader Pass for the British Library reading rooms. See also links to the British Library catalogue.

Library of Congress

List of National Libraries (Wikipedia)

Special libraries

UK Data Archive: UKDA

Catalogue of the Data Archive. The Data Archive is a centre of expertise in data acquisition, preservation, dissemination and promotion and is curator of the largest collection of digital data in the social sciences and humanities in the UK. It is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) of the Higher Education Funding Councils and the University of Essex.

Centres and surveys - ISER

Provides a gateway to specialist resources at ISER supporting the research activities of both the ESRC Research Centre on Micro-Social Change and the ESRC UK Longitudinal Studies Centre as well as the European Centre for Analysis in the Social Sciences and other postgraduate student programmes.

School of Advanced Study - University of London


The University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park
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